'The Masked Singer' Ratings Underwhelm in Season Premiere

The absolutely deranged musical competition show The Masked Singer returned on Wednesday night for [...]

The absolutely deranged musical competition show The Masked Singer returned on Wednesday night for its fifth season, and the new group of celebrities promises to be the most off-the-wall yet. The Snail was unmasked on Wednesday's episode, and viewers were shocked to see that the first celebrity to leave the show was none other than Kermit the Frog. Yes, the Muppet. No, not the people who voice and operate the Muppet. Kermit himself.

"I can't even begin to explain the whirlwind of emotions Kermit the frog being on The Masked Singer had given me," wrote one fan on Twitter. "They put Kermit The Frog on The Masked Singer US and I'm literally on the verge of tears laughing so hard and i feel like I'm the only one who is absolutely losing my f------ mind," cracked another Twitter user.

Despite dominating social media for the evening, the premiere ratings for The Masked Singer underwhelmed in comparison to its last season viewership numbers. The Fox show earned a 1.31 rating among adults 18-49 and 5.66 million viewers, well below its same-day averages of 1.78 and 6.74 million in the fall. Perhaps the novelty of Kermit the Frog will pique viewers' interest and any drop-offs will return for next week's episode.

This season largely looks the same. The only change is the fact that Claws actress Niecy Nash is hosting the first half of the season because original host Nick Cannon had to step away after a positive COVID-19 test. Nash is filling the void with charisma and warmth, and she seems to be enjoying her time at The Masked Singer. Nash said that she was made to feel welcome on set right away. "I was honored to stand in the gap and just be a tiny placeholder for him, for his franchise and his series," Nash told ET. "It was a great job."

The Masked Singer's producers even surprised Nash with a heartwarming video message from Nash's wife, Jessica Betts, in order to make her feel welcome as the new kid. "I wanted to cry my fake eyelashes off," Nash declared. "I was like, 'Oh my God, that was so sweet!'"